Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Candied Chilli Cashews
Fresh, bright, green and packed with Vietnamese flavours, this adaptable and delicious Vietnamese chicken salad is everything you could ever want in a quick summer salad.
This Vietnamese chicken salad is not strictly an authentic Vietnamese salad; however, it packs an epic punch of Vietnamese-inspired flavour and is sure to be a winner on your spring or summer table!
This leftover friendly recipe needs 10 simple ingredients in addition to your pantry staples and comes together in under 15 minutes.
You can add to or customise this recipe to fit your tastes – it’s really flexible, fresh and absolutely delicious! It’s also the perfect way to use up leftover roast chicken, and is just a lovely and healthy dish to quickly whip up when you’re feeling peckish.
The addition of caramelised cashews adds crunch and chew to this bright and fresh dish, taking the place of the more traditional peanuts in Vietnamese salad. But feel free to mix it up with your favourite nut or seed.
If you’ve not yet had the pleasure of tasting Vietnamese Nuoc Cham, then you’re in for a treat! This punchy and delicious sauce is employed as a dipping sauce and dressing across Vietnam, and forms the base of the salad dressing here. I would suggest being generous with the sauce, as the flavours are simply out of this world!
Essential ingredients for success
To make this salad the best, freshest and brightest it can be, don’t skimp on the following ingredients!
Get the best fish sauce you can find, ideally from your local Asian supermarket or grocer.
The chicken is the star here, but the veggies you use play a vital supporting role! Try to get your hands on some napa cabbage or wombok for an authentic touch. Use fresh and sweet Persian or English cucumbers and your favourite peppers for additional crunch and sweetness.
Fresh mint and coriander
Vietnamese cuisine relies heavily on fresh and flavourful herbs. To get the most out of your salad, use the freshest herbs you have access to (out of your garden or windowbox if you have green fingers!). Dried won’t do here, so make sure your herbs are bright green and pick out any brown or slimy bits.
If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. You can also view the video here. Happy cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this vegan?
You can indeed. Pick up a vegan fish sauce, and add your favourite marinated tofu or vegan protein source to replace the chicken!
I don’t like cashews, what else can I use?
Feel free to add any other toasted, caramelised nut or seed of your choice.